TV and film’s smartest smartwatches

As Apple launches it's first foray into wearable tech in the shape of the "Watch", we look at some of the TV and film inspirations for the latest technology craze

You might think your golden, diamond-studded watch is pretty smart, but unless it can connect to your phone, let’s face it, for tech lovers it’s pretty dumb. With Apple launching it’s Watch today, here are some of its possible pop culture inspirations.


Dick Tracy

The original awristocrat, the pulp gumshoe was one of the first to wear a ‘smart’ watch in the 1940s. By the standards of today, it was pretty basic, with just a two-way radio (eventually a videophone) and fancy leather strap elevating it above your standard Mickey Mouse Timex. 

Knight Rider

Again this was more or less just a walkie-talkie, but it did connect directly to a superintelligent sports car. Half of Michael Knight’s life was spent tied up, trying to reach his communicator watch so KITT could roll up and sort everything out. In many ways it’s like Siri on the iWatch, but instead of accidentally phoning your grandmother, it would accidentally run her over.

James Bond

James Bond has never worn a watch that wasn’t smart. He’s allergic to Swatch (that’s more a villain thing). Over the years, they’ve included built in lasers, magnets, grappling hooks and any number of Q branch special features. Probably the swishest (or at least the most 1980s) was the Seiko from Octopussy, which could watch television, bug and track bad guys, stare at breasts (god the Roger Moore era was awful) and probably had a calculator in it somewhere.


In the futuristic world of Futurama, technology is so advanced it can pretty much do anything at anytime. So when Leela needs to analyse the local atmosphere, or shoot someone in the face with a laser, or blow her nose on a tissue, or play a game of Pong, she turns to her all-purpose Wrist LoJack-a-mater. Your move, Apple.


In Time

In this sci-fi thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, everyone is born with a digital clock implanted in their arm. Once they hit 25 years old, this starts counting down towards zero, at which point they die. The entire film is spent bartering for more time, paying ludicrous sums for every precious second. Young, trendy people? High price tag? Obsolescence after a year? Has someone been taking notes?